Pune, 4 June-2014,Yogesh Joshi, (Hindustan Times): Police are investigating the possibility of a conspiracy in the fatal attack on an IT graduate after members of the radical Hindu Rashtra Sena allegedly circulated a text message referring to fall of the “first wicket” over offensive Facebook photographs.
Image credit: Hindujagruti
Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh, 28, was bludgeoned to death allegedly by members of the group during Monday’s violent protests against posting of morphed pictures of late Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray and Chhatrapati Shivaji on Facebook.
Joint commissioner of police Sanjay Kumar said on Wednesday that immediately after the gruesome murder, an SMS was circulated, proclaiming, “Pahili wicket padli” (the first wicket has fallen).
Within 24 hours of the incident, police arrested 13 persons of which seven have been charged with murder.
Shaikh, sporting grown beard and dressed in green pathani kurta, was returning home in the evening when the accused blocked his way in Hadapsar — on the outskirts of Pune – forced him off his bike and hit him on his head with hockey sticks and stones.
Considering the contents of the messages exchanged by the group’s members and the weapons they were carrying, the police are now probing whether the attack was planned in advance.
The killing sparked off tension in the area forcing police to clamp curfew, which lasted for 12 hours.
Shaikh’s cousin, who was accompanying him, escaped unhurt after he managed to flee from the spot while two others — Ameen Shaikh, 30, and Ijaz Yusuf Bagwan, 25 — sustained injuries.
Among those arrested but not yet charged with murder include Hindu Rashtra Sena chief Dhananjay Desai.
The police first recovered one of the bike used in the attack, based on which other accused were arrested.